Digimon Rumble Arena (PlayStation)

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Digimon Rumble Arena (PlayStation)

Genre: Beat 'em up - Publisher: Bandai - Release Year: 2002 - For: PlayStation

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68% positive

5 reviews from the community

Review of "Digimon Rumble Arena (PlayStation)"

published 30/09/2017 | CGholy
Member since : 17/06/2010
Reviews : 300
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About me :
The end of an era for Ciao. But at least I went out on a high.
Pro Fun beat them up game!
Cons Boring mini games.
very helpful
Value for Money
Difficulty & Complexity

"Let's Get Ready To Rumble"


Digimon started off as virtual pet toys in the early 1990's and has been converted to many various other formats ever since including the famous anime, movies, video games and the not so well-known books. The popularity of the new series, Digimon Adventure Tri has breathed new life into old characters and brought in new merchandise for the franchise, proving very much that it is not dead.

Today, I'm reviewing a much older instalment from the franchise: Digimon Rumble Arena which was released exclusively for the original PlayStation console. It was first released in Japan around Christmas time in 2001 and was released to the rest of the world in 2002.

In Japan, the game is known as Digimon Tamers Battle Evolution. The gameplay remains the same but there are some striking differences from the Japan and English release to the game. The graphics and voice-overs have had a total retouch and the soundtracks are also different. I prefer the Japanese soundtrack as I liked the rocky feel to it and also recognised the music from the original Japanese dub of the show.
The Game

The game is considered a crossover of the first three Digimon seasons, but I don't feel it is much of a crossover as it's a Digimon game and they're all produced by Bandai. There's also not much of a real story to the game, the dialogue is pretty limited other to attack moves. There are 24 playable characters in total, with 15 to be unlocked, but not all of them can be used for the full story mode.

The only sort of plot I can gather based on the opening animation and my experience in playing the game is that some evil Digimon is causing havoc and the Digimon and their tamers fight each other to see who gets to challenge him. Though unlike other Digimon games, this game focuses on fighting only.


The game plays like your typical 2-D street fighter game. It's clunky and stiff and if you've had experience with other fighting games like the classic Street Fighter and King Of Fighters series, then you'll have no issues with playing with this game. The gameplay can also be compared to Super Smash Bros with its colourful cast and the use the power-ups and special moves.

During fighting there is a special gauge above the HP bar, once this blue one is full it gives the option of special moves for the big Digimon or allows the Digimon to evolve using the R1 button. The triangle button is reserved for special moves that many might recognise from the show and the circle button is their secondary move. The cross and square button is your basic jumping and attacks.

Mini-games can be unlocked as well, but I didn't really enjoy them much. I found that whilst they were very simplistic, they lacked the hook to enjoy them. Like the balloon game and punching the ball, most of the mini-game requires nothing more than button mashing. I don't mind button mashing, but I would rather do it for a purpose. And there's no real award to doing the mini-games.
Soundtrack & Graphics

The graphics are pretty good for their time, but now it's quite dated. It's aged a lot better than many other retro games I know. Though compared to today's graphics, the game isn't as fluid. It doesn't look so good on the flat screen TVs as it does on smaller screens, but it didn't distract the gameplay for me.

I really liked the stage designs in the fighting modes and I liked the variety and the music. Although I think some of the songs on there didn't fit the mood of a fighting game. All the music on here is original which I can give the game credit for, but I think it would have been nice to have some original Digimon music from the show so fans could recognize it.

My Picks

I really do like the roster for the game and think it's the best as it includes a lot of my favourite tamers from the first Digimon series and also a lot of my favourite Digimon in the mix as well.

Out of all the playable characters on the roster, I play as Gatomon the most. Not only is she my favourite Digimon, but I found her the more comfortable to control and the most balanced. I also like cats a lot, particularly cats that can evolve into dragons.

My second choice would be Renamon as I like her Diamond Storm attack and it can pack quite a punch. There's also some fan-favourites here as well like Agumon.

Then there's the beautifully soft-spoken and sophisticated Wormmon, who I consider to be the game's underdog. There's something pleasurable about a green caterpillar with little pink hands slaughtering monsters thrice the size of him.


Overall it's a very decent fighting game that's good for killing some time. But it doesn't offer anything for non-Digimon fans, nor does it offer anything different to the plethora of fighting games out there. Despite that, I still enjoy this game and have very fond memories of it. I would still recommend it for Digimon fans with access to a PlayStation One. I have a feeling that this game will be hard to find unless you look online as it is an old game.

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 16/10/2017
    vh :o)
  • rolandrat123 published 04/10/2017
  • jb0077 published 04/10/2017
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Product Information : Digimon Rumble Arena (PlayStation)

Manufacturer's product description

Genre: Beat 'em up - Publisher: Bandai - Release Year: 2002 - For: PlayStation

Product Details

Publisher: Bandai

Release Year: 2002

Genre: Beat 'em up

Platform: PlayStation

EAN: 3296580800209


Listed on Ciao since: 19/12/2002